Christmas in Durango, Colorado

Nestled amidst the snow-capped peaks of the San Juan Mountains and the evergreens of San Juan National Forest, Durango, CO transforms into a winter wonderland during the festive season. With its picturesque landscapes and a blend of old-world charm and modern festivities, Durango offers a unique and magical experience for celebrating Christmas.

Heading to Durango to check out the snow-covered scenery and holiday fun? Here’s everything you need to know before you go. 

Skier jumping a mountain

Festive Christmas Activities in Durango

First, let’s talk about all of the amazing things that are available for you to experience and enjoy in Durango during Christmastime. Take advantage of any or all of the amazing options below for a magical, quintessential holiday getaway. 

Enchanting Scenery

The scenic beauty of Durango takes on a whole new allure during Christmas. The snow-covered streets adorned with twinkling lights create a postcard-worthy scene that evokes a sense of nostalgia and warmth. The Animas River, often dusted with a delicate layer of snow, flows gracefully through the town, adding to the serene ambiance. Meanwhile, the snow-capped mountains rise majestically in the background. 

Honestly, the scenery alone is enough to call us back to Durango time and time again during the holiday season, and you will absolutely want to make a point of slowing down so you can truly appreciate the beauty around you. 

Traditional Festivities

Durango takes pride in its rich heritage and celebrates Christmas with plenty of traditional events. 

One of the most popular traditional events the area has to offer? The Polar Express train ride. The historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad hosts this popular event and it is a beloved attraction that many families return to each and every year. Children clad in pajamas board the train to the “North Pole,” enjoying hot cocoa, cookies, and a visit from Santa Claus himself.

Other fantastic events include the Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair at LaPlata County Fairgrounds and Noel Night in Downtown Durango. Both events provide excellent opportunities to find unique gifts for the whole family. 

Lively Downtown Decorations

Speaking of downtown, the downtown area of Durango comes alive with festive cheer during the holiday season. Main Avenue twinkles with lights, and storefronts are adorned with wreaths and decorations, creating a festive atmosphere. Locals and visitors alike stroll along the streets enjoying the vibrant energy and perhaps popping into the various shops and boutiques for unique gifts and souvenirs.

This amazing holiday cheer is in the air during the aforementioned Noel Night event of course, but it remains throughout the month of December, so you’ll be able to enjoy the festive atmosphere even if you can’t make the event. 

Community Spirit and Events

The spirit of community is palpable in Durango all year long, but especially during the Christmas season. Various events and activities bring people together, fostering a sense of togetherness and joy. From tree-lighting ceremonies to choir performances and holiday markets, there’s no shortage of ways to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit and connect with others. Even if you’re just visiting, you’re sure to feel like one of the family!

Winter Adventures

For adventure enthusiasts, Durango offers a plethora of winter activities. From skiing and snowboarding in the nearby mountains to snowshoeing and sleigh rides through the gorgeous scenery, there’s something for everyone seeking outdoor thrills. The crisp mountain air and breathtaking vistas add an extra layer of excitement to the holiday experience.

Go skiing and snowboarding or take a snowshoeing tour at Purgatory Resort, try snowmobiling with San Juan Sledders, or join San Juan Expeditions for some ice climbing fun. Durango Dog Ranch offers dog sledding experiences, Bears Ranch takes reservations for sleigh rides, and Hesperus Tubing Hill offers a chance to do some snow tubing. For a more unique activity, consider booking a Snowcat tour with Purgatory Snowcat Adventures

Culinary Delights

Indulge in the flavors of the season at Durango’s restaurants and eateries. From cozy cafes serving steaming cups of cocoa to restaurants offering festive menus featuring local specialties, the culinary scene embraces the holiday spirit. Warm up with hearty meals and treat yourself to decadent desserts that capture the essence of the season.

One of our favorite places to have a Christmas meal is the gorgeous Mahogany Grille. While Christmas hours have not yet been released, the restaurant does generally offer a holiday meal. Just be sure to make reservations in advance!

Christmas sprited mountains near Durango

Tips for Celebrating the Christmas Season in Durango 

Obviously, you’ll want to make sure your holiday trip to Durango is a great one. By going in prepared, you should be able to have an amazing and memorable getaway that goes off without a hitch. Here are our top tips for doing just that. 

Pack for the Weather

Most of the time when people pack for an RV trip, they pack warm-weather clothes or clothes meant for the fall. Winter in Durango is very, very cold, so you will need to change your packing list to include things like wool socks, puffy coats, and winter hats. You may also want to pack electric blankets, extra propane for the furnace, and ingredients for soups and hot cocoa. 

Plan Around Events

As mentioned above, Durango hosts events throughout the holiday season. Before you go, sit down and see what events are coming up. Decide which ones sound most interesting to you, book tickets or make reservations if necessary, and plan your trip around the dates of that event.

Learn Holiday Hours

Keep in mind, some businesses alter their hours during the holiday season. This can have an effect on your trip if a shop or restaurant closes earlier than usual, and if a place stays open later during the holiday season, it might be nice to know that for planning purposes. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to check hours as you plan. 

Prepare Your RV

RVing is always the way to go when visiting Durango. That said, RVing in the winter in Durango does require that you take a few extra precautions. Make sure you take steps to protect the plumbing in your RV (winterizing with RV antifreeze isn’t a bad idea, but will mean you can’t use the RV plumbing). You might also consider some sort of skirting around the bottom of your rig if you plan to stay for more than a week or so. 

More tips for winter RVing can be found in this article. 

Pick the Perfect Campground

Finally, you’ll want to make sure you pick an awesome campground for your holiday getaway. After all, you want to have a magical trip that is filled with sweet memories, and the place you stay can help make that possible. Fortunately, Outdoorsy Bayfield is here for you.

Where to Spend Your Durango Holiday Getaway 

Yes, Outdoorsy Bayfield is a pretty ideal pick for where to stay during your holiday RV getaway. Our gorgeous park sits between Durango and Pagosa Springs and offers absolutely everything you need for a comfortable and cozy Christmas trip. 

Our RV sites all have full hookups, meaning you won’t have to leave the warmth and comfort of your home-on-wheels to have everything you need. The onsite walking trails give you plenty of places to walk when the sun comes out, and the onsite laundry room, cafe, and camp store mean you don’t ever have to leave the campground if you don’t want to. 

Of course, you should leave the campground once in a while because Christmas in Durango is absolutely magical. Here you’ll experience a combination of scenic beauty, cherished traditions, and a warm community spirit that simply cannot be beat. Whether you’re seeking adventure in the snow-covered mountains or looking to immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere of the downtown celebrations, Durango offers an unforgettable experience that captures the true essence of the holiday season. 

Book your campsite today, rent an RV if you need to, and head out to Durango to experience the enchantment that fills the air in this charming mountain town during Christmas!